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Italy has overtaken France to become the world’s largest wine producer this year, according to European Union data.

Moderate weather conditions have resulted in a plentiful grape harvest across the Mediterranean peninsula. Production for 2015 is projected to rise by 13 percent.

The figures submitted to the European Commission in mid-September show total output approaching 50 million hectolitres.

In contrast a heatwave and lack of rainfall in France caused production to decline by one percent. The Burgundy and Beaujolais regions were worst affected.

In the latter case, production fell by a quarter and it’s thought that both areas could see price rises in the coming months.

One reason for the rise in Italian output is simply that the 2014 harvest was particularly bad due to the weather.

Despite this year’s overall good conditions some vineyards were forced to use emergency irrigation in the July heat.

But thanks to a cooler September, the 2015 Italian harvest is set to yield what one producer described as a “pretty good vintage”.

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